Posted on November 7, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Victory Call
A while ago, I was at a Women’s Retreat planning meeting. It was my hope that it would be brief and I’d be home fairly early. It was not to be so.
As the meeting began, the woman leading shared her growing desire to pray fervently for the women of our church and for our women’s events, specifically our 2019 retreat. So, she invited us to spend an extended time in prayer together beseeching the Lord for His guidance, wisdom and grace.
Honestly? My first thought was, UGH – we are going to be here a while. I wanted to get on with the business-at-hand. I knew we needed to pray but my attitude (which I kept to myself, by the way) showed that I viewed our need to pray as a cursory item on the agenda to check off. Open in prayer – check. A concerted time of prayer was going to interfere with MY plan to get home early on this cold night.
What did that attitude reveal about my heart?
Pride, self-sufficiency, an independent spirit. It revealed that I didn’t believe that I needed Jesus on this one. I didn’t see the truth that I was, we were desperately in need of God’s wisdom, direction and clarity.
Being a planner and a goal-oriented person – to me the business-at-hand was getting our plan written down on paper, assign tasks, set schedules and record action-items, when in reality the business-at-hand was going before the throne of Grace to plead with God to pour out His favor and blessing, not just on the retreat itself, but that we would be led by the Holy Spirit in every detail. That our interactions, attitudes and relationships would be God-glorifying. That we would be unified in spirit. There was a lot to pray about.
Prayerlessness reveals pride – self-sufficiency- an independent spirit, a hardened heart, a deceived heart. We really do need Jesus.
Perhaps you can identify with my struggle that night. I’m sure many people do because church prayer meetings are among the most poorly attended services – if there even is a prayer meeting anymore. When do churches fill with people desperate to pray? When there is a tragedy, for example: 9/11.
About 4 years ago, we had an officer-involved shooting about 5 miles from our home. The racial tensions were high. There were protests and looting, stores had to close and barricade their doors, roads were blocked by thousands of people protesting, most peacefully but some violently.
That night there were prayer meetings around the city, planned and unplanned – formal and informal. People flooded the churches to pray.
At those times our churches are packed because we KNOW we are desperately in need of God’s intervention. The other 99% of the time we foolishly think we can handle the rest.
The business-at-hand IS prayer. We really do need you Jesus, all the time.
Written by Diane Hunt: Diane Hunt serves on the board of America’s Keswick and is the Executive Director & CEO of Changed Choices, a Christian non-profit in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” – Hebrews 12:5-6